Spin King: Scorcher Emma taking her game to the next level

Emma King delivers for the Scorchers.
Emma King delivers for the Scorchers.

TWENTY20 cricket can be an unforgiving format for spin bowlers, but Scorchers off-spinner and Subiaco-Floreat player Emma King has long been used to bucking trends.

The Scorchers have found themselves near the top of the table as the Women’s Big Bash League approaches the halfway mark of the season, with four wins from six matches.

It has been a competition that has attracted some of the world’s best batters and, as is the case with T20, most of those names have looked to the slower deliveries of spinners – particularly orthodox off-spinners – as an opportunity to smack a ball into next week.

However, 24-year-old King has flipped that model.

After only bowling in four games last season for a return of one wicket, the spinner has transformed herself into the Scorchers’ stingy leading wicket taker this season, with eight wickets, an economy of 5.04 and three maidens to her name.

“The biggest aspect of my game I have been working on is my consistency,” King said.

“I guess the other challenge has been to fight my way into the team, given we have such a strong side with plenty of depth across the board.

“Lisa (Keightley) said to all of us at the start of the season there would be no guarantees on spots, so I am glad that my hard work at training is starting to pay off on the field.”

Captain Suzie Bates, England international Katherine Brunt and young local product Heather Graham sit equal second on the leading wicket-takers board for the Scorchers, two shy of King.

However, despite leading the pack, King said she did not go out to take wickets.

“One of my strengths is my control and making it hard for the batters to score,” she said.

“My job is to go out there and slow down the run rate and put pressure on the batters, which is something I have been working really hard at.

“I have done a lot more research in the lead up to this season, making sure I set the right fields to different batters to generate more dot balls, so it is nice to see it is paying off.”

Like many of the Scorchers squad members, King started playing cricket with her brothers, before plying her trade for Subiaco-Floreat.

Her goals are simple: winning the WBBL with the Scorchers and one day pulling on a Southern Stars shirt.

“Winning the Big Bash with the Scorchers is at the forefront of my mind right now and that is what I am working towards,” King said.

“Of course it is a dream to one day play for Australia, but if I keep bowling well and training hard, that will look after itself.”

Perth have four games remaining in their road trip on the eastern seaboard, with games against the Melbourne Renegades and Stars in Victoria, before a double header in Sydney against the Sixers.